Published at 2017, September 26th
We know that due to climate change outcomes, many companies are and will be in the future, greatly affected in many different ways. Yet, many do not know what they can do to help fight it. Here are 10 actions that all companies can put in place to do their part in the fight against global warming.
1 – Measure And Analyze Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The first step for any company that wants to reduce its impact on the planet and the environment, and therefore help to reduce climate change, is to measure its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). For this end, there are many private agencies that are carbon footprint certified and can help companies measure their CO2 emissions.
Once GHG emissions are known, they must be analyzed to see which of the company’s activities are the highest pollutants. Once this analysis is done, companies can then begin to consider solutions to reduce their emissions.
2 – Reducing Energy Consumption
Turning off the lights in the office in the evening, slightly lowering the heating or the air conditioning or taking devices off the plugs when it’s not needed are some good actions companies can implement. Moreover, by paying more attention to other daily routine actions, businesses can slightly reduce their energy consumption and, thus, their impact on the climate.
3 – Give Renewable Energies A Go
Today, more and more individuals are choosing renewable energy and this is also an interesting solution for companies. Suppliers such as ekWateur or Enercoop represent an interesting solution for using only 100% renewable energy. Simply put: avoiding fossil fuels significantly reduces the climate footprint.
4 – Reduce Waste And Fight Obsolescence
Another way to reduce the climate footprint of a business is to reduce the amount of waste generated. Whether it is the industrial waste of a large company or the paper waste of a SME of the tertiary sector, all companies produce waste.
Avoiding disposable cups, stirrers, and capsules for the coffee machine and giving kitchen crockery instead, reducing the number of prints, reusing papers as drafts, sort waste for recycling correctly… There are plenty of possible solutions depending on the facilities (office or factory) and an organization’s core business, and many employees we’ll have plenty of good suggestions if they are motivated to adopt an eco-entrepreneur mindset.
It is also important to use equipments and devices properly to avoid they get deteriorated faster and to repair gadgets when they break down instead of replacing them with new ones.
5 – Optimize Employees’ Transportation
As we know, transportation is one of the largest sectors of greenhouse gas emissions. By encouraging employees to take public transit, to carpool with other colleagues living closeby or by giving them discounts on public transportation, companies can significantly reduce their indirect CO2 emissions and therefore their impact on climate change.
- More information about: how can human resources help to make companies more eco-friendly
6 – Choose Greener Infrastructures And Equipment
It is also possible to choose more environment-friendly infrastructures and equipments. In this way, companies can set up a fleet of hybrid or even electric vehicles to renovate their employees’ cars according to the latest environmental standards. Or when the time comes to buy new printers, air conditioners, laptops, screens, bulbs or office materials, if the old ones can’t be fixed or more are needed, choose the most efficient (energy-wise) and sustainable (regarding the origin or manpower ethic standards) ones.
7 – Choose Sustainable Suppliers
Each company also has a responsibility regarding the partners it chooses. Choosing a supplier is also an environmentally-friendly choice (or not, depending on the supplier). Therefore, companies should make the effort to choose suppliers who demonstrate they have good environmental practices.
In fact, companies wanting to get sustainability and CSR certifications such as GRI or B Corp often see their operations reviewed. And in the process, suppliers’ operations might also be accounted to a company’s own ecological footprint. Therefore, these companies aspiring certification might even need to ask their suppliers to adopt more sustainable practices (such as giving proof of not employing children and paying fair wages or disposing waste properly), or even have to change to more sustainable suppliers if the old ones refuse to change.
8 – Raise Awareness Among Employees, Clients And Other Stakeholders
As an economic agent, companies also play a role in raising awareness on their employees, consumers, media and other stakeholders. Organizing in-house contests, hackathons or campaigns to raise and improve awareness on sustainability issues is a great idea. Partner with outside organizations, do something original, unique, powerful and that stays top of mind.
These small gestures gradually create the ground for best practices that individuals then reproduce at home and transmit to their friends… the snowball effect, so to speak.
9 – Promote Environmentally Friendly Ways Of Working
Some ways of working are more ecological than others: telecommuting, for example, has many ecological advantages. One can also consider video conferences that avoid employees traveling by car for meetings with clients.
Paperworks also have a strong environmental impact, as does computer work and the Internet because of servers. Sometimes, avoid to copy an entire company in an e-mail that only concerns one department can save a lot of CO2 emissions.
10 – Mobilize For The Climate Change Challenge
Finally, the role of companies is also political. In their territory, at the regional or national level, companies that want to fight climate change must be militant. By pushing politicians and public actors to act on global warming, they can have a huge influence. If companies are active, this can lead to new environmental regulations that can have a significant impact on global warming.
What about your company? How many of these 10 actions have been implemented? And which ones haven’t? See how you can help your company become more sustainable and start today creating a change!